Ghost signs of Hanwell

Hanwell has several ghost signs.

These two are on the back of buildings that fronted the Uxbridge Road. They are visible from Station Road and presumably were there to encourage potential shoppers coming from the direction of the station. The buildings are now occupied by an accountant and a secondhand car showroom.

Gapp's Stores

Ormond

This one is on Boston Road and certainly made me snigger the first time I noticed it. I like that it is still a shop albeit of an entirely different kind.

Peacock the draper

I like this one. It isn’t a painted sign but it is certainly a ghostly presence. There was a Barclay’s bank on the Uxbridge Road in my memory but part of the building is now a Domino’s Pizza delivery store.

Barclay's Bank

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Waste train

I’ve lived in Hanwell for twenty years now and this was the first really good view that I’ve got of the waste trains that go and from the waste transfer station down in Brentford.

Waste train

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Brunswick Centre

After seeing 9 Lives by Dave McKean at the British Library, Andy and I decided to walk to Russell Square rather than get on the tube straight away at Kings Cross for the Piccadilly line. The late evening sunlight was beautiful and it made the upper half of the Brunswick Centre look gorgeous.

Brunswick Centre

Brunswick Centre

Brunswick Centre

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Barnes Bees

I saw this beehive behind Two Peas in a Pod on Church Road. If you look carefully you can actually see one of the bees but in actuality there was plenty of activity.

Barnes bees

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Barnes Old Cemetery

Memorial and plane

Barnes Old Cemetery is an abandoned and, hence, overgrown graveyard near the common. I was a little disappointed in its lack of romanticism but perhaps I wasn’t in the mood or the light wasn’t right.

A headless angel

Peace

Barnes Old Cemetery

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Beautiful clouds over Hanwell

Around about eight in the evening the light outside became a lovely golden colour. I went upstairs to look out my bedroom window expecting to see a rainbow but instead I saw these beautiful skies. It was raining but instead of a rainbow I saw these gorgeous contrasts between the rain clouds and the blue sky beyond.

Hanwell clouds

Hanwell clouds

Hanwell clouds

Hanwell clouds

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London Wetland Centre

Clouds over the London Wetlands Centre

Andy and I cycled to the London Wetland Centre at Barnes where the sun decided to grace us with its presence. That led to hives which I have never had before and I’m still itchy today. However, it was worth it because we saw some of the world’s most beautiful ducks, bellowing Marsh Frogs, baby lapwings and tumbling otters.

A beautiful pair of ducks

Koloa duck

Marsh frog

Asian short-clawed otter

Asian short-clawed otter

Meadows at the London Wetlands Centre

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Asian short-clawed otters

One of the two Asian short-clawed otters tumbling underwater in the enclosure at the London Wetland Centre in Barnes. I think it was trying to get the sand out of its pelt after a quick roll around on land.

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Red Dust, Employees’ Entrance, Taxi!

The BFI is showing a season of pre-code films. These aren’t the respectable ones like King Kong but the “naughtier, rougher-edged and more shocking” ones. Not that King Kong is particularly respectable when you think about it.

Red Dust (1932)

This was the first film we saw (it was not actually part of the season but never mind) and it is one that I have seen probably twice before. It doesn’t say much for me that is only now that I noticed how horribly racist it is.

For most people, this film is all about Jean Harlow and Clark Gable and I can see why; Gable was astonishingly attractive and didn’t they know it at MGM with his topless moments; and Harlow is attractive too and funny, very funny in fact. But she’s totally obvious; unlike Mary Astor who was subtly gorgeous. Lots of people consider her too matronly in The Maltese Falcon but to me she is a low key smouldering volcano waiting to go off. And when buttoned up Astor gets wet in a rainstorm she is a million times more appealing than Harlow. And, as an added bonus, she reminds me of Julianne Moore.

One of the oddest parts of the film isn’t the pronunciation of Saigon but the how to make rubber lesson given by Gable; it was almost like an advert for the rubber industry.

Next up was a double bill.

Employees’ Entrance (1933)

Ironically, Andy hated this film for reasons that I usually make loud objections to – notably the issue of sexual consent (or the lack of it) but also having a leading character who is almost a complete and utter bastard. Now, I’ll not deny that the film is problematic but by taking the film as a black comedy then I found it very funny and very black. Loretta Young was beautiful, Wallace Ford was surprisingly appealing, and Warren William was fabulous – a truly forgotten film star.

Highlights include a dog in a bin and a drunken Young stubbing a lighted cigarette on a bald man’s head (honestly, this was funny).

Taxi! (1932)

This was our second Loretta Young film but the first chronologically. She wasn’t particularly good in this but I can partly blame the terrible role she had. Now, I really do object to this sort of thing – I understand that in real life this does happen but how many times did she say that this aggressive and violent man had one more chance? And if he had done the fist to the face thing once to me, I’d be off. And so would her character as written – she didn’t make any sense. Urgh, I just spent this film feeling totally uncomfortable. I think James Cagney’s early on screen persona is deeply unpleasant – as I said violent and aggressive but also mean to women, volatile, ill-tempered, and cross all the time.

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A chairlift in the Cairngorms

I’m rather taken by this shot. I’m not much of a photographer in the sense that I lack technical knowledge but sometimes I look at one of my photos and think that’s pretty good. I like the clouds here, I like the balance of the elements, I like the contrast between the blue and brown, and finally I like that hut.

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